Together with husband Bill, Imelda established Nutrimetics International (Australia) Pty Limited in 1968 and 23 years later, in 1991, acquired the worldwide interests of Nutrimetics International. The Group was subsequently sold in 1997 to the Sara Lee Corporation.
In 1986 Imelda was awarded the Australian Pursuit of Excellence Award for her outstanding leadership and performance in the Direct Selling Industry. In 1993 she was appointed Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations representing 50 national associations, 1500 member companies with over 20 million representatives. A first for a woman and a first for an Australian!
In April, 1994 Imelda was appointed by Prime Minister Keating as Australia’s representative to the PBF, The Pacific Business Forum of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) and appointed in 1996 as Prime Minister Howard’s representative to the successor organisation – ABAC – the Business Advisory Council to APEC.
Recognition of Imelda’s contribution to business and commerce came in 1995 when she was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day Honours List and in 1996 when awarded the Degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causi from Macquarie University Sydney. In April 1997 Imelda was internationally recognised in Paris as one of the 50 leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World and June 1997 saw Imelda ranked number one in the NSW publication ‘Business Sydney’ of the Top 25 Women-Owned Businesses in New South Wales.
In December 1997, Imelda was appointed Deputy Chancellor of Bond University Queensland and Chancellor in November 1999. In March 1999 she was appointed Chair of the New South Wales Chapter of Family Business Australia.
In June 2001 she was appointed a Patron of the Hawke Centre at the University of South Australia. Imelda completed her term as Chancellor in May 2003 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bond University in 2004.
In January 2001 Imelda was one of several thousand Australians who were considered to have made a significant contribution to the Australian society in business leadership and was awarded a Centenary Medal.
Imelda has served on a number of Boards and Committees, most notably:
• St Vincent’s Hospital
• Sisters of Charity Foundation
• Garvan Medical Research Foundation
• Bond University School of Business
• Bond University Council
• Business/Higher Education Round Table – Executive Committee
• IDP – International Development Program of Australian Universities
• Australian International Education Foundation Council
• Macquarie University Graduate School of Management
• Asia Australia Institute – University of NSW
• Committee for Quality of Teacher Education – NSW Government
• Australia Young Leaders Program Inc
• Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in Australia
• John Brown Foundation
• APEC(Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation) Pacific Business Forum
• APEC Business Advisory Council
• Trade Policy Advisory Council of the Australian Government
• Economic Development Council of the NSW State Government
• CEDA – Committee for Economic Development of Australia
• Family Business Australia, NSW Chapter
• World Federation of Direct Selling Associations
• Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust
• Air Services Australia
• Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games